tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 26, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
clarified, elaborated and evolved and tonight, it might be crumbling and mitt romney gets a kick in the well, i'm going to use the word pants. from the latest poll in ohio, but that's not what his team used. and barney frank talks brownies. let's go "outfront." "outfront" tonight, the white house story crumbling. today, secretary of state hillary clinton admitted al-qaeda was involved in the attack in benghazi, libya. this came on th heels from a report on "the daily beast" chbs the u.s. government new about the involvement within 24 hours of the attack. it was 15 days ago and what we've heard for the past 15 days is that the attacks were an attack on america. that was the president. not preplanned, spontaneous, that was susan rice and carried out by a small and savage group. that was secretary of state
hillary clinton. well, the president of libya today also came out today and was clear about al-qaeda. >> hiding in libya. >> it was actually in a high level united nations meeting that hillary clinton for the first time today admitted that an al-qaeda linked group was involved. >> for some time, al-qaeda in the islamic mog rab and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern mali into neighboring countries and are working with other violent extremists to undermine the transitions as we tragically saw in benghazi. >> now, "the new york times" reported that other senior u.s. officials were surprised by secretary clinton's admission. her linking of those al-qaeda linked groups to the crisis in benghazi. perhaps, because what she said late last week leads to a very
different conclusion. on thursday, secretary clinton said i quote, absolutely no information or reason to believe there is any basis to suggest that the u.s. ambassador was on an al-qaeda hit list. also perhaps because the president himself has not said terrorists were involved in the attacks. here he is on "the view" this week when asked if he thought it was a terrorist attack. >> there's no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn't just a mob action. he left it to his press secretary to use the t word. carney, under pressure from reporters, clarified saying today, it have a terrorist attack. it is the president's view that it was a terrorist attack. the president didn't say it was a terrorist attack once yesterday and half an hour speech to the united nations general assembly despite devoting the majority of his time to chris stevens, the
movie, so, why is the administration hesitant to use the word terror? a key foreign policy victory of this administration was the killing of osama bin laden. and this summer at a fund-raiser, the president said al-qaeda is on the run and we got bin laden. well, as we said that july night, the part about al-qaeda on the run didn't look that way to us. al-qaeda linked militants were there on the libyan weapons obtained after the u.s. and nato intervention in that country and now that four americans have been killed in north africa by extremist groups, the question remains. should the united states have known this attack on the american ambassador was coming and did the administration lie about intelligence that al-qaeda linked groups were responsible for his death for the past two weeks? representative mac thornberry is "outfront" tonight. good to see you, sir. >> glad to be here.
>> i know this is an issue you care a lot about. you've spent time in mali in the past. you've been briefed on the situation in benghazi. at that briefing, were you told that al-qaeda linked groups were responsible? >> we always have to be careful repeating what we're told in classified settings, but basically, we were told something that goes along with its consistent with what the administration was saying publicly an that was that was a upon tan yous mob, got out of hand and there wasn't consequences. doesn't make much sense if you look at common sense. the fact it was 9/11. the fact it was a highly organized attack. that's before you get into the evidence it just didn't really add up. >> i remember asking that night. people on our program. 9/11. it can't be a coincidence and people were trying to say it was and it didn't seem to add up. can you think of a reason though they wouldn't have told you if
they had found out, why would they not have said so publicly? >> i don't know, erin. i'm really perplexed about that. it is true al-qaeda has been di finished, but as you point out, al-qaeda has grown, become more sophisticated and dangerous in western africa and we still have al-qaeda in yemen and somalia to deal with, so if you're looking for a neat campaign narrative that says we solved this problem for you this flies in the face of that. but what's far more important than that is we need to learn the lessons of what went wrng to help protect other folks around and that's why i think congress will move towards an investigation to try to get to the bottom of this. >> senator corker's been on this show. he had described the the briefing he received as there wasn't one new piece of information. he was incredibly frustrated with it, but then he's come out and asked for more information. he wants every cable for example
that ambassador stevens may have sent to the state department. the state department says hey, i know cnn is reporting there were warnings and that the ambassador was concerned about his safety and hit list, but if he was, nobody ever told us. >> it's not just a matter of placing blame for this incident. it really is, what went wrong here because four americans lost their lives and so what intelligence information did we have? did it get to the right people? what decisions did the state department make, the ambassador himself make? >> especially if he was afraid. >> exactly. against the british ambassador just before this. so, they knew that there were problems in benghazi. >> i'm curious who you think
should be held responsible, if there are warnings signs missed and if you were briefing congress and knew that al-qaeda linked groups were involved and didn't tell anybody the full story then, who should be held responsible for that? >> well, we'll see what the facts end up showing. my guess is is that they om had little frag ms of facts. not a clear smoking gun that says we're going to attack the ambassador on this day, but there were fragments there. and the thing that is just as concerning is why would you go out and spend fragments in perhaps a political way rather than just get to the bottom of the matter. and that's what we should hold it to. >> the report on "the daily beast" actually says that u.s. intelligence agencies had strong indication of al qaeda's involvement. they knew that in the first 24 hours. >> i've seen those reports and
that is very important information we need to get to the bottom of. >> because where is this person now? >> and what do we know about him? what are his affiliations? that tells us the al-qaeda link, but also goes to what your point and that is if we're going to really hunt them down as the president says, we know where he lives. 15 days -- >> something about that does not add up. >> it's taken a long time to get our team in there to investigate when y'all are the ones that found the diary. so something doesn't fit together. >> thank you very much. appreciate you're taking the time and coming out tonight. zblmpblt. a new poll in ohio has the romney campaign on its heels and iran's ahminedjad takes to the u.n. on the holiest of jewish holidays to blast israel, but after that, it got very strange.
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[ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪ visit floodsmart.gov/pretend to learn your risk. a wake up call for mitt romney. president obama opening up a big lead in what may be the most crucial swing state in the united states. ohio. the republican candidate took note. >> welcome to cuyahoga county where we have more republicans register .
we're going to deliver, too. so -- >> i need it in a big way, all right? >> he had a sense of humor, but he'll need more than just cuyahoga county to turn those poll numbers around. peter hamby joins me now. i know you had a chance to talk to strategists. what did they tell you? >> most republicans in ohio don't think the situation is that dire yet. they do acknowledge both inside the campaign and outside that they are losing and the main reason that the republicans in ohio point to is that romney doesn't really have a cohesive message and said this is why you should throw barack obama out and install me as president. the key issue is the bailout of chrysler and general motors that the president pushed through. they say romney hasn't been able
to come up with a consistent answer to this and the obama campaign has been hammering on this. one republican i talked to put it very bluntly, a senior republican in ohio said that obama's advantage on the auto bailout is quote a kick in the balls for the romney campaign. you can't say it, so i will, but that's sort of a consist ebt criticism about the campaign that they haven't been able to develop a message about that. >> i got to hear you say it. that's good enough for me, peter. one thing that's interesting to me, from your reporting and i i know you spent a lot of time out in the field, that romney has a good ground game in ohio. knocking on 28 times as many doors as john mccain did. so why isn't he doing better? >> the bush re-elected 2004 is probably the better model there. romney has about half as many offices in ohio as the obama campaign, which has been embedded in the state yet accord
tog "the washington post" poll, the the romney campaign is doing a good job keeping up. these volunteers and field staffers for the campaign don't really know what product they're selling because mitt romney hasn't really articulated. a compelling message as to why they should throw out barack obama because the economy in ohio is doing better than it is in other parts of the country. >> it is and the question is, who gets the credit ryan joins me now along with roland martin. roland, that was the kind of, you're not afraid to say what you think. a kick in the you know, at least they're saying they feel the way they feel. >> actually, honesty is always the best policy. it's amazing they are making sarah palin out to look like a you know, profit, if you will, when she said they should go rogue. they're going to have to get
more aggressive in this campaign in order to close this gap. these debates are going to be critical, but again, these ceo frankly is giving a muddy story if you will as to why he should be the person. i love boxing, erin and they say you don't win the belt of the champion on points. you take it and mitt romney hasn't done that. he has to take it if he wants to win the presidency. >> it makes sense, but ryan, what in the world is he supposed to do? it sounds like he tried to be aggressive. after the attacks on the consulate in libya. he came out and it seem people thought too soon he got picked on for being aggressive there. how can he be aggressive in a way that's going to win this race? >> there were so many different models that mitt romney could have pursued and the thing is, he's narrowed his options. about a month ago, two months ago, he needed to make a big play for the midwest. not just ohio, but wisconsin. the time when republican
candidates succeed is when they're able to marry those two things together. george w. bush won in 2000, despite a roaring economy under president clinton. everyone thought al gore should crush bush, but he was able to win by talking about issues like education and demonstrating to suburban voters that hey, you can trust me. i'm a safe pair of hands on these issues and mitt romney has had a hard time doing that. what mitt romney needs to do is say look, i'm the candidate who's going to deliver more work and better and higher wages through my plan an there are a few things like energy policy and making the case for tax reform. he's made it much, much harder for himself than he should have. >> go ahead. >> it's a little hard for mitt romney to talk about what he is going to do on health care when he said he is going to repeal all of the affordable care act then say i'm going to keep some
parts of it. so again, it's sort of like dude, exactly what are you trying to do here? i think the difference between george w. bush, he ran as a compassionate conservative and he had his conservative base locked up. romney's dealing with people whobds we're not really trusting you. if you're the obama campaign, what jim messina should do, he should play the video of alec baldwin and glenn ross saying always be closing. the one thing you cannot understand, a poll's a poll. folks have not cast any ballots, so the obama campaign should stay aggressive. stay absolutely aggressive because if you just sit back a little bit, you could cause this race to narrow. that's the last thing they want. >> thanks very much to both of you. and later in our hour, our guest, a man who once said mormonism is a cult said this race is not over and he's got one thing he says mitt romney to do to turn the race around.
and mahmoud ahminedjad addressed some of the u.n. general assembly today. was he trying to invoke john lennon? ing other than work? get two times the points on travel, work? with chase sapphire preferred. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
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ahminedjad at the u.n. for the eighth and last time, ahminedjad spoke to the united nations general assembly and there were protests. the israelis and americans did not attend. canadians walked out. though i saw france was there. much of the speech was what you would expect. he has called for the destruction of israel and he referred to israelis as quote uncivilized zionists, but then it got really weird. when he seemed to take a different tone. during the section of his address called imagine for a moment, ahminedjad said this. >> translator: imagine for a moment -- had there been no -- distrust and malicious behaviors and dictatorships with no one violating the rights of others,
had the wars crusade and slavery and colonialism not happened, the wars in korea, vietnam, latin america and the balkans not happened, imagine how beautiful and pleasant our lives and how lovely the history of mankind would have been. >> and they would have been. much more beautiful and pleasant. that's right. that was ahminedjad talking about freedom, peace and compassion. there was some speculation about what brought on what appeared to be a new tone and i have a little idea. maybe he's hoping the feeling will help make the u.s. a safer haven for him because just as ahminedjad began speaking today, his press secretary was arrested in tehran for writings that allegedly insulting iran's supreme leader. he is going to serve a yr in jail and he's just one of ahminedjad's allies obtained in the last year and a half.
maybe that's why when i saw ahminedjad last week, he said he might be back last year even though he won't be president. maybe he's hoping you know, he can stay here. it's sure better than what the alternatives might be in tehran. coming up, our guest says mitt romney is doing it all wrong and he has the solution. how about someone with an idea. he's got one. and how much should student protesters be paid for having been pepper sprayed. yeah k there's a number to that. . for you, life's about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity.
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now get 200 free trades when you open an account. welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start the second half of the show with stories we care about where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. first, the university of california has confirmed to cnn it's reached a preliminary settlement with students pepper sprayed last year. it calls for the university to pay $30,000 to each of the plaintiffs. they're going to set aside another $100,000 to individuals who can prove they were directly hit during the incident.
expect people around the country to buy pepper spray. the extradition of the radical clerk has been halted for now. he launched an appeal to fight his extradition to the u.s. and as a result, a judge has issued an interim injunction pending a hearing. in a statement to "outfront," the british home office says it will continue to work to ensure hamza and four others are handled over as soon as possible. he faces 11 charges including conspireing in 1999 to set up a jihad training camp in oregon. michigan police are going to be searching for the remains of jimmy hoffa under a driveway. his department decided to take a core soil sample on friday. they had earlier used a radar which detected an anomaly. police say the move was credited by a tipster.
he is the former teamster's boss who went missing in 1975 and ke claired dead seven years later. tonight, mali is -- after ov a military force to help retake the northern part of the country under the control of islamic militants linked to al-qaeda. the situation was discussed several times in the united nations today. ban ki-moon said this region needs your attention, do not abandon it. and secretary clinton said in a speech that the u.s. is stepping up its counterterrorism. it's been 419 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. new home sales dropped in august, but prices were up at 11%. that's something to celebrate.
and now, our fourth story "outfront." a hail mary pass from mitt romney. pastor jeffers says evangelical voters hold the key to romney's victory. he's the pastor of the first baptist church in dallas. he now supports mitt romney and is here tonight. okay, so let's start with this. what is the secret that's going to turn it around for mitt romney? >> insanity's doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. up to this point, the strategy has been to just talk about the economy. don't get off on the social issues. this isn't working out well. the economy, because the economy's improving with the housing prices yesterday, consumer sentiment up yesterday and also, it fails to recognize that many of republican base, many of them, are social
conservatives who care about the economy, but we also care about the moral and spiritual deterioration of our country and i believe that romney needs to speak out and show the distinction between the democrat form, which is embrace gay marriage, doubled down on abortion, which waffled about on whether to include god in the platform. there's never been a time there's a more stark contrast between a democrat and republican. i'm afraid if romney continues this course and doesn't stand and run on the republican flat form, i think a lot of evangelical voters may sit this one out. >> republican platform is against abortion. that's what most americans, the vast majority of americans agree with. are you saying that he should go against with the republican platform, against abortion in all cases? >> i think he needs to make clear he believes in life.
my personal view is murder is murder and except in the case of a life of a mother, you don't have a right to take the child's life because of the way the child was conceived, but that's another programming issue. my point here is that republican voters largely are evangelical voters. they vote 3-1 republican. they care about more than simply the economy. and i'm just saying that in these debates nec week, if the issue of life coming up, if the issue of marriage comes up, my advice to romney is not to go wobbly, but to state clearly what he believes and i think he can energize evangelical voters. >> aren't they already living in states mitt romney is going to win? doesn't he need to go for people who may think what you're saying about abortion is not what represents their point of view and say i don't want to vote for a guy that's going to say that? >> erin, remember this. in 2008, 20 million voters sat
home and didn't vote. the fact is, he has to have evangelical voters. i said early on he could win without us and he did, but he can't win the general election without us. i think it's very important to do that. i think coming out strongly for life and for traditional marriage, it will suppress minority evangelicals, many are in my church. latinos and african-americans who voted for obama the last time, but they can't swallow his position on gay marriage. they're not going to go out and become republicans and vote for romney. >> so, they're going to stay home. >> if those differences are highlights. >> but is it going to be enough for him to say i stand for life? sounds like you're saying i need him to go further. abortion did become a big issue with the platform, compeing flat forms. how far does he need to go? >> i think he needs to say he's for life. even his stated position, which
i don't agree with necessarily, but in cases of incest, rape or the life of the mother, i still think that's a strark contrast. >> just has to tout. he has to put his fist down and say. >> that's exactly right. i think again, the point is, not only will it energize evangelical voters, i think it will really suppress is turnout. they're talking to me about it. i had one african-american pastor in our area who said it's an insult to me to say that the fight for marriage equality is like racial equality. he said don't equate sin with the color of my skin and i think there are african-americans who feel that way and i think by highlighting these stark differences, it could be a winning formula. >> missouri republican todd aiken is still running. he's in it. he's running. this was and is a crucial seat for the republicans. obviously, for those who don't remember, he's the one who referred to legitimate rape.
today, rick santorum and jim demint endorsed him. do you? >> i don't have any dog in that fight, as we say in texas. i think what he said was very unfortunate and probably misspoken, but i don't have a position on clay aiken. >> misspoken? you think you can really misspeak something like that? >> i think it was an ignorant thing to say, but i do think mitt romney has a chance to win this election, but i think he's going to have to do something differently because what is happening now is not going to win. he's got to energize this base. i'm hearing republican strategists saying oh, look, you evangelicals, you don't have a choice at all. you're not going to vote for barack obama. it's true, we're not going vote for president obama, but we have a choice about staying home. now, i've come out and endorsed governor romney. i'm going to vote for him because i believe there is a difference between his position
and the other, but i don't think he can afford to wobble next week in the debate because frankly, his record of consistency on this issue isn't very strong, so he doesn't have a lot of leeway to maneuver there. >> thank you very much. appreciate you coming in and taking the time. john, i know you wrote about this issue today. what's your response when pastor jeffers says mitt romney needs to come out and double down. will this work? >> no. the pastor's speaking from a passionate perspective. only around 20% of americans oppose abortion in all cases. as the republican platform calls for. only 20% of americans support that position. the vast majority of americans for example on the issue of abortion believe it should be safe, legal and rare. activists on either side are polarized, but it's simply a losing formula. any candidate needs to appeal to
independents and sent riss and that's where extreme positions on social issues. >> the pastor said he's not saying mitt romney has to go further right. he didn't like his point of view necessarily on abortion, but he said if he stuck with rape, incest, life of the mother and skrus pouned his fist -- does that change it? >> no, there's a reason the romney camp has been trying to say this election is about the economy. we heard this during 2010. this is a libertarian argument about it's the economy. about reducing the deficit and debt. virtually every poll. who's better equipped to deal with the deficit and debt. the more they play to the religious right on social issues, the more they risk alienaing these centrist voters. >> did you disagree? >> absolutely. the latest polls show that
people trust obama more now with the economy. this economy issue solely is a losing issue for romney as the economy improves, but also it fails to reck thiz people care about other things other than just the economy. >> pastor jeffers, if i may, i was making the distinction about not just the economy, but deficit and debt. so, i appreciate your desire to have your nominee really focus on playing to the base in the religious right. that is your prerogative, but you can't rewrite polls to say that's a winning strategy when it comes to reaching out. >> what i'm saying to you is that i think the hunt for these elusive independent or undecided voters out there is going to be a losing strategy. it was in 2008 for john mccain. i think it will be this time. i'm not saying he has to make these social issues the heart of every stump speech he gives.
i just say when it comes to debates over the next few weeks, he can't go wobbly or hesitate about these important issues to us. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. of course, the the big question is why is mitt romney not doing better on evaluations of the economy? something i'm sure his campaign is asking themselves. protesters clashed in greece today and a very frank talk on legalizing marijuana.
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we're back in tonight's outer circle where we reach out to our sources around the world and we begin in athens where demonstrators clashed with police. tens of thousands showed up. the biggest anti-austerity protest in greece in more than a year and the demonstration was one reason stocks here in the u.s., the same in your pension and 401(k), fell today. linda is on the dpround and i asked her how those cuts will affect the greek people. >> erin, what we expect from these austerity measures is to see more pensions and salaries being cut. there's also talk about the retirement age being raised by two years from 65 to 67 years and of course, there are also additional taxes to come.
all this comes at a time when a lot of greek people are facing tremendous difficulties buying medications. schools are saying they may not be able to provide heating this winter and unemployment has skyrocketed in the period of three years after 25% youth unemployment being as high as 60%. so as you can understand, the the impact of the measures is going to be hard for the greek people. >> and now, our fifth story "outfront." withdrawing from the war on drugs. america has been hooked on this fight for decades and it has cost more than a trillion dollars. but there is a shift underway to revolutionize how america fights drugs and it doesn't have just the support of president obama, but also has the support of rival mitt romney. here's john zarrella at how one of the least talked about campaign issues has ties to the number one concern of this country, the economy. >> reporter: a fishing trawler tries outrunning a coast guard cutter.
the crew of the cutter fires its 50 caliber machine gun. >> that's smoke. that's smoke. all right! >> reporter: disabling the trawler. on board, 20 tons of marijuana. this was the mid 1980s. the drug war was at its height. george bush headed up a task force. in miami, cocaine is found hidden in commercial jets. flowers. even boxes of yams. problem is, some aren't yams at all. rather plaster casts painted and shaped like yams. inside, pure coke. stash houses and drug labs are routinely raided. that was a war on drugs. these days, it's not even a war of words. the white house doesn't even call it a war any longer, focusing more on prevention and
in this political season, the issue of illicit drugs rarely gets a message. when it does, president obama and mitt romney appear to be on the same page. >> the president of the united states must make a priority of helping reduce demand in this country. >> the united states can focus on drug treatment and prevention. >> absolutely. i agree with that. >> reporter: if anyone should know, it's judge pollack. she presided over misdemeanor drug court in broward county, florida. >> you've done perfect throughout the entire program. there's no violation of probation. >> she says drug courts ought to be a priority for the candidates because they reduce drug dependsy and save taxpayers millions and she's got the numbers to back it up. a study showed pollack's court saved the county as much $30 million a year over a five-year period.
basically, the difference in the cost of treatment and counseling versus incarceration. >> if we can keep them out of the criminal justice system at this level, then we will save a billions and billions in prison costs. >> reporter: for the white house, it's a multilayered approach. focus on education and prevention. treat drugs and addiction as a public health issue. law enforcement continues choking off the supply. this year the federal government is spending over $10 billion over prevention and treatment. law enforcement and corrections just over $10 billion. but both men say they are not in favor of legalising marijuana. she says it can be the result of a job loss or aggravating time. >> it is only natural that people are going to turn to substancing whatever they may be to numb their pain or stress.
substancing whatever they may be to numb their pain or stress. >> the most talked about issues leaning to one of the least. >> cnn miami. >> as john mentioned, both president obama and mitt romney both say they are not for legalising marijuana. >> i spoke to barney frank. i said why do you care so much?
>> i believe in personal freedom and liberty. i believe the efforts to shut down internet gamble. i think it contributes to a good deal of the sense of unfairness of young people that are told they shouldn't do this but then see older people engaging in things that have a greater impact on people. and then i think important at the federal level that means cutting military spending and at the state level that means not doing as much as -- people that smoke marijuana.
one of the best things we can do to reduce state expenditures is to stop going after people who use marijuana. >> you could also make money on it. very good point. the analogy is prohibition. we could tax it. again, it is the expensive. it is not family done. if you look at the arrests for marijuana. they come from minority groups and there are highly educated and upper income white kids that smoke it and the big problem in new york. it adds a degree of social disorganization and it is an impingement on personal freedom. >> they said if you use cigarettes or marijuana.
those are crucial indicators of a gateway drug. >> first of all, we would have to outlaw cigarette smoking. you say it was cigarettes and marijuana. >> but, that is one of the points i'm making. you tell people, we are going to promote the smoking of cigarettes and i think that excesser baits social tensions. there is nothing about marijuana that has a great deal in common with heroin that the law treats them similarly. >> i thought for a second that i was talking to ron paul.
>> we are in great agreement on this and not banning gambling. we differ on the economic situation although it involves other people. >> i guess i have to ask you a crucial question here. do you smoke regularly pot? >> no, i don't. i did have a brownie once and it made me sleepy, but you know, i don't gamble either. tomorrow a big day at the un general assembly. comes with some risk,gy t north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self-contained well systems. and, using state-of-the-art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations
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tomorrow a big day at the un general assembly. as prime minister delivers his speech. he made comments to get on the plane to come to the united states. he has been critical of the united states saying there is no more time for diplomacy on iran's nuclear policy. plus her crusade to stop human trafficking and tomorrow you will meet a teacher who struggled for years.